WHY IT RATES: While other companies have moved on, Carnival continues to help The Bahamas recover from the deadly Hurricane Dorian.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer
Carnival Corporation & plc signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with The Bahamas to fund and support flood damage repairs and basic restoration efforts at Rand Memorial Hospital, the primary hospital in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, which sustained significant damage in September from Hurricane Dorian.
The MOU agreement formalizes a collaborative partnership between The Bahamas and Carnival Corporation designed to provide hurricane relief funds for the joint mission of rapidly restoring Rand Memorial Hospital, with a collective goal of returning the facility to a safe and healthy environment for patients and medical professionals by the end of March 2020.
The Rand Memorial Hospital project comprises two critical restoration initiatives: remediation and basic repairs for the facility, and replacing damaged medical equipment.
Additionally, the hospital’s existing kitchen suffered damage, so the restoration project is expected to include the completion of a new kitchen that was partially constructed prior to the storm, which will be able to provide meals for patients and staff once the hospital officially reopens.
Working with a project coordinator that will have day-to-day oversight of all elements of the project, Carnival Corporation and the Government of The Bahamas will coordinate with collaborative partners in support of the restoration efforts, including Direct Relief, an international relief organization that provides critical medications and supplies during emergencies; World Central Kitchen, a food relief organization that serves meals to local communities following a crisis; the Grand Bahama Shipyard based in Freeport and the University of Miami, among others.
Also, during the restoration process, Carnival Corporation will support World Central Kitchen’s continued provisioning of daily meals for patients and staff as part of an ongoing partnership following the storm.
“We are extremely pleased to immediately begin remediation efforts at Rand Memorial, which serves as Grand Bahama Island’s primary medical facility and represents a critical step in our ability to recover and once again serve our community,” said Sharon Williams, administrator for Grand Bahama Health Services, the local healthcare system that includes Rand Memorial Hospital. “We are grateful to the Bahamian emergency response team from Carnival Corporation, Direct Relief, Grand Bahama Shipyard, University of Miami and its partners for working together to restore our facility as quickly as possible to a safe, secure and healthy environment for medical care.”
“In support of overall recovery efforts in The Bahamas, we have worked with government and community leaders to determine meaningful ways we can help that will deliver a lasting impact, and our shared mission to support the restoration of Rand Memorial Hospital exemplifies that commitment,” said Marie McKenzie, vice president of global ports and Caribbean government relations for Carnival Corporation.
“This restoration project is crucial for the health needs of residents, while also supporting the longer-term vitality of the community and is indicative of the rebuilding progress on the island. Along with our partners, we look forward to supporting the government’s efforts to reopen Rand Memorial Hospital as an important step in the overall recovery of Grand Bahama Island.”
The Rand Memorial Hospital restoration efforts outlined in today’s MOU are part of a significant donation from Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation, the company’s cruise line brands and its guests, and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation to provide funding and in-kind support to help overall hurricane recovery efforts in The Bahamas.
Since Hurricane Dorian hit in September, Carnival Corporation and its brands have worked with local and international organizations, including Grand Bahama Shipyard, Direct Relief, Tropical Shipping and World Central Kitchen, to partner with businesses across The Bahamas on projects providing both immediate relief and long-term impacts wherever possible.
The company’s partnership with Tropical Shipping collected and delivered an estimated 10 million pounds of supplies in over 250 shipping containers to the country – made possible by generous donations from countless individuals and organizations throughout South Florida and North America. In addition, two ships from the company’s Carnival Cruise Line brand – Carnival Liberty and Carnival Pride – made stops in Freeport to deliver relief supplies to assist residents, including water, generators, chain saws, prepared meals and medical supplies.
With support from Carnival Corporation, Carnival Foundation, and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, Direct Relief has delivered more than $2.9 million in life-saving medical aid to health facilities across the Bahamas, including Rand Hospital.
Carnival Corporation and Carnival Foundation are among the organizations that provided support to World Central Kitchen, which served more than 25,000 meals per day to people in Abaco and Grand Bahama following the storm. In total, Chef Jose Andres’s World Central Kitchen has provided over one million meals throughout The Bahamas.
Carnival Corporation brands also conducted donation drives to support The Bahamas through Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen. Overall, Carnival Cruise Line guests and employees have donated more than $500,000 to organizations supporting Bahamas relief efforts.
In addition to these broad relief efforts, three of Carnival Corporation’s brands – Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises – are continuing regular sailings to The Bahamas with an expected 250 total calls to the country throughout the remainder of 2019, helping to support the country’s tourism industry and its vital economic impact on businesses and residents. Carnival Cruise Line officially returned to Grand Bahama in mid-October when multiple ships docked in Freeport for the first time since the storm, marking the return of regular cruise calls to Grand Bahama Island.
For more information, reach out to your local travel agent.
SOURCE: Carnival Corporation press release.
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